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Now this man purchased a field. The word in Greek (extncaTO) signifies, was the occasion of purchasing. It is very frequent in sacred as well as other writings, to represent a man as doing that, which he is only the cause or occasion of another's doing. See Acts ii. 23. John xix. 1.
Matt. xxvii. 59–60. 393. Matt. xxvii. 3% And as they came out, &c. Grotius ob
serves, that in the time of Moses capital punishment was inflicted out of the
Numb. xv. 35. And that the Ro. mans also executed offenders out of their encampments and out of their cities. See Hebrews xiii 11, 12, 13.
John xix. 17. And he bearing his cross. Those who sufa fered crucifixion among the Romans bare their own cross (i. e. the transverse piece of wood to which the arms were afterwards fastened) to the place of execution ; an act which
was considered as part of the infamy.--Grotius. 394. Luke xxiii. 31. If they do these things in a green tree, what
will be done in the dry ? In many passages of the Old Testament, a green or flourishing tree is used as an emblem of prosperity, peace and plenty; a dry withered tree denotes the contrary state. The proper sense of this expression therefore is as follows: “ If such outrages be committed, if innocent people be put to death, in a time of general tranquility, whai must be expected in those times of war and desolation, which are approaching ? Compare Ezek. xvii. and xix. and xx. 47. Hosea x. 1, 8. xi. 6. and Eccl. vi. 3. Psalms i. 3. lxxx. 10, &c. Job xxix. 19. xviii. 16. and viii.
16.-Willan. 395. Matt. xxvii. 34. They gave him vinegar to drink, mingled
with gall. Mark says, wine mingled with myrrh. Several commentators have given elucidations, and reconciled these varying accounts. Their mode of reconciliation is ingenious, yet depending in such a particular manner on the critical nicety of the languages, as may in this place be more properly avoided. Should the biblical reader wish for information, Marsh's Translation of Michaelis' Introduction to the New Testament, vol. 3, page 159; Grottii Annotationes in Libros Evangel in loc. ; Newcome's notes in the folio edition of his Greek Harmony, page 52; and Beausobre and Lenfant's version of St. Matthew, note on Matt. xxvii. 34.
furnish interesting information on the subject. 396. Matt. xxviii. 37, and parallel verses, No two Evangelists,
you observe, agree in reciting exactly in the same words the written inscription, which was put over Christ when he was crucified. I admit that there is an unessential verbal difference; and are you certain that there was not a verbal difference in the inscriptions themselves? One was written in Hebrew, another in Greek, another in Latin ; and though
they had all the same meaning, yet it is probable, that if two men had translated the Hebrew and the Latin into Greek, there would have been a verbal difference in their translations.-Watson.
The same verbal exactness is not necessary in historians, whose aim is religious instruction, as in recorders of public inscriptions. It is enough that the Evangelists agree as to the main article, “ The King of the Jews,” referred to John xix. 21. That their manner is to regard the sense rather than the words, appears from many places. See Acts x. 4, and 31, and many parallel verses in this Harmony.
Newcome. 399. Matt. xxvii. 44. Mark xv. 32. What is true only of one
of the male factors, related by Luke, is attributed to both in in the concise relations of Matthew and Mark, the plural being often used in the gospels for the singular. This the Evangelists themselves shew, in some instances. Compare page 179. Matt. xv. 15. and Nark vii. 17. Page 147, Mark v. 31, Luke viii. 45. Page 164, Matt xiv. 17. Mark vi. 38. Luke ix 13. John vi. 8, 9. In the following places the plural is used, and the sense shews that one is spoken of. John xi. 8. Luke xx. 21, 39. xxiv. 5. Matt. xv. 1, 12. The Evangelists therefore, when from attention to brevity they avoid
particularising, often attribute to many what is said or done by single persons ; nor does any striking peculiarity in the case omitted lead them to deviate from their manner; for instance, the case of Judas. See Matt. xxvi. 8. and the
parallel places.-Newcome. 400. Matt. xxvii. 45. The sixth hour. There are two sorts of
days; the natural one, which is the space of twenty-four hours from one sun-set to another; and the other, called artificial or civil, consisting of twelve hours, from the rising to the setting of the sun. The civil day, that is, the sun's stay above the horizon, was by the Jews divided into four parts, each of which consisted of three hours, that were longer or shorter according to the different seasons of the year. The first was from six o'clock in the morning till nine. And therefore they called the third hour what we call nine o'clock, because three hours were past from sun rising to that time. The second part of the day lasted from nine of the clock till noon.
The third from noon to three. This they called the ninth hour of the day, because it actually was the ninth from the morning. The fourth was from three o'clock till six in the evening. They gave the name of hour to each of these four parts, as well as to the hours properly so called.
Beausobre and Lenfant. Matt. xxvii. 45. There was darkness over all the land. This darkness could not be a regular eclipse of the sun, by
the intervention of the new moon, as the passover was always
Matt. xxvii. 46. Eli is Hebrew for my God. Mark xy.
34. Eloi is the Syriac for it.--Newcome. 400. Matt. xxvii. 46. My God, my God, why hast thou forsa.
ken me? Our Saviour, by citing the beginning of the 22d Psalm, seems to have intended to refer the Jews to the Psalm itself, in which their present conduct and his circumstances are minutely described with a most amazing exact
The Jewish mode of quoting scripture was by reciting only a few words at the beginning of a paragraph.
Harwood. 401. John xix. 29. Vessel full of vinegar. The soldiers and
lower class of people among the Jews made use of vinegar when mixed with water for a common drink. The Jews of better rank, however, looked on an offer of vinegar to drink as the greatest affront and outrage, as will appear from a remarkable passage in Psalm lxix. 21, 22. “Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; I looked for some to pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”-Willan. This passage is also highly prophetical.
Matt. xxvii. 48. Mark xv. 36. Put it on a reed. · John xix. 29. Put it upon hyssop The Greek word xa neulos, properly signifies a reed; but it is also used to denote the stem and branches of such trees and plants as produce any kind of wood. The randaplos here spoken of, was a stick of hyssop, of which there is one kind in Judea that shoots forth boughs or stalks strong enough for the use it is put to here.
Beausobre and Lenfant. 402. Matt. xxvii. 51. The veil of the temple. The veil of the
temple was a curtain, which separated the sanctuary from the holy of holies, within which the high-priest only was allowed
Exod. xxvi. 31. Numb. xviii. 7. and that but, once a year, on the great day of expiation or atonement.
Exod. xxx. 10. 406. John xix. 39. Brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about
an hundred pound weight. It appears from Josephus, that
Josephus likewise says, that in the funeral procession of king Herod were five hundred spice bearers. 'See likewise
2 Chron. xvi. 14. 410. Matt xxviii. 1. and parallel verses. The slight variation
of the Evangelists in regard to the time of the women's com-
They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him, ch. xx. 2.”
Newcome. 411. Mark xvi. 5.
A young man sitting on the right side. Luke xxiv. 4. Two men stood by them. Benson's mode of accounting for this is
suitable to the manner of the evangelists. " St. Matthew and St. Mark take notice only of the angel who spake to the women. St. Luke says, that there was another in company with him, which the former Evangelists do not contradict. These angels are called men by St. Luke, and one of them is called a young man by St. Mark, from the shape which they assumed. Compare Luke xxiv. 23. Acts i. 10. See also Judges xiii. 16. Gen. xix. 1, &c.
Though in the established version, Luke xxiv. 4. is rendered 5
two men stood by them,” the original word seotNOUN does not necessarily import a posture, but may be rendered “ appeared to them,” or “suddenly appeared to them.” The same verb having this similar application in Luke ii. 9. Acts xxiii. 11. and is attributed to it by H. Stephens.
Newcome, &c. 412. In Luke xxiv. 5. the verb “they said” occurs plurally, in
the other Evangelists singularly. This circumstance is already explained by note on page 399, where a similar passage
is noticed. 422. The disciples, who collectively had been frequently denomi
nated the Twelve, after the death of Judas, had the appellation of the Eleven. This is applied by Luke xxiv. 33. and Mark xvi. 14. as their general title, though at that time ten only were present, Thomas (see John xx. 24.) not being with them. Paul, in the 1st Cor. xv. 5, and John xx. 24. speaks of them under the former appellation of the Twelve, though, Judas being dead and Thomas then absent, ten only can be enumerated. This application of the two numbers may appear contradictory, yet as it was not unfrequent, but even general, among writers prior to and about that age, to adopt the same modes of expression (as the following extract obviously shews) no contradiction can be eventually attached to the sacred writers.
“ Grotius hath observed that Xenophon calls the governors of Athens by the name of the thirty, when Theramenes, one of them, was dead; and that in the book of Judges, the seventy sons of Gideon are said to be slain, whilst Jotham, one of them, was alive. I add, that Livy calls by the name of Decemviri, or, The ten men, only five of them, who had the joint command of the Roman army in Tusculum (lib. 3. c. 43.) and a little after (lib. 3. C. 51.) he gives the same name to three of them, who had the joint command of the army against the Sabines; and even (c. 49. line 20.) to those two of them, who were left at Rome to take care of the city.”
Chandler. 427. John xxi. 7. For he was naked. This phrase does not de
note absolute nakedness, but is often applied to those who are without an upper garment. Nudus (a Latin word of the same signification) is used in the same manner. So Virgil (Georg. i. 299.) gives this order to the husbandman.-Nu
dus ara, sere nudus.-Harwood. 429. John xxi. 21. If I will that he tarry till I come. History
informs us that St. John lived long after the destruction of Je. rusalem (to which the words, till I come,” refer. See Matt. xxiv. 3—44. xvi. 28, &c.) and Christ had given the intimation that John should see that event, for he once said